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Archive for April, 2013

American Girls Aren’t Radical Anymore

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

Yeah, I read about dolls now. My new life. This is interesting…you know, symbolically and what not:

“Previously known as The American Girls Collection, indicating their core importance to the brand, dolls of previous eras have been officially renamed “Historical Characters” in order to give more attention to the customizable “My American Girl” (advertised as a doll that looks “just like you!”) and the annual “Girl of the Year.” These product lines offer blander avatars who reflect only the present time period and appearance of contemporary girls…
By contrast, the original dolls confronted some of the most heated issues of their respective times. In the book A Lesson for Samantha, she wins an essay contest at her elite academy with a pro-manufacturing message, but after conversations with Nellie, her best friend from a destitute background who has younger siblings working in brutal factory jobs, Samantha reverses course and ends us giving a speech against child labor in factories at the award ceremony…
Kirsten explored tensions between early pioneers and Native Americans. In Kirsten Learns a Lesson, the “lesson” may have been her introduction to manifest destiny…
With a greater focus on appearance, increasingly mild character development, and innocuous political topics, a former character-building toy has become more like a stylish accessory.”

Lecture: Structural-Functional Analysis of EU

Friday, April 19th, 2013
  • History & Evolution
  • Structures-Functions
  • Contemporary Challenges
  • Discussion

Here is the lecture

Lecture: Structural-Functional Analysis of the United Nations

Friday, April 19th, 2013

The Lecture Outline

  • History of the UN
  • General Information/UN Finances
  • Structures of the UN
  • Current Issues/Peacekeeping
  • Criticism of the UN

Here it is

Carnegie’s Wealth applied to Paris Hilton

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

Remember I referenced Carnegie’s book Wealth in which he makes an argument for a high inheritance tax as a means to minimize the decadence and idiocy of trust fund kids? I said he loathed the Paris Hiltons of the world and feared a world run by them.

Oh, and I did the math. Its 69 million to go. Hardly a bad inheritance.

Marissa Mayer Thinks Feminists Are a Drag. Is She Right?

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

Mayer described feminists as women who are “militant” and have a “chip on the shoulder,” which struck me as a pretty unsophisticated portrait. But a few days later I am starting to reconsider. Maybe Mayer’s outdated stereotypes are distracting me from the more interesting question: If someone as smart and successful as Mayer, someone who tours the country speaking to young women, can’t comfortably call herself a feminist, then maybe we need to take her objection seriously. Maybe there is a reason why that PBS documentary was so much better on the history than it was on the modern era. Maybe feminism is a term too freighted with history and it’s time to move on.

Video: Eisenhower Farewell Address

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

President Dwight Eisenhower’s Farewell Address to the nation January 17, 1961


Vietnam: The Photo

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

Eddie Adams (1933-2004) who documented thirteen wars, shot one of the most iconic, memorable and gritty images of the Vietnam War on February 1, 1968 which you see above.  This image is forever etched into the minds and history books of both past and future generations.



TAL: Harper High School

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

TAL spent five months at Harper High School in Chicago, where last year alone 29 current and recent students were shot. 29. They went to get a sense of what it means to live in the midst of all this gun violence, how teens and adults navigate a world of funerals and Homecoming dances. They found so many incredible and surprising stories, this show is a two-parter; you can listen to Part Two here.


In Our Time: Romulus and Remus

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss Romulus and Remus, the central figures of the foundation myth of Rome. According to tradition, the twins were abandoned by their parents as babies, but were saved by a she-wolf who found and nursed them. Romulus killed his brother after a vicious quarrel, and went on to found a city, which was named after him.

The myth has been at the core of Roman identity since the 1st century AD, although the details vary in different versions of the story. For many Roman writers, the story embodied the ethos and institutions of their civilisation. The image of the she-wolf suckling the divinely fathered twins remains a potent icon of the city even today.

Johnson tapes: Richard Nixon’s ‘treason

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

Declassified tapes of President Lyndon Johnson’s telephone calls provide a fresh insight into his world. Among the revelations – he planned a dramatic entry into the 1968 Democratic Convention to re-join the presidential race. And he caught Richard Nixon sabotaging the Vietnam peace talks… but said nothing.

“…It begins in the summer of 1968. Nixon feared a breakthrough at the Paris Peace talks designed to find a negotiated settlement to the Vietnam war, and he knew this would derail his campaign.

He therefore set up a clandestine back-channel involving Anna Chennault, a senior campaign adviser.

Chennault was despatched to the South Vietnamese embassy with a clear message: the South Vietnamese government should withdraw from the talks, refuse to deal with Johnson, and if Nixon was elected, they would get a much better deal.

So on the eve of his planned announcement of a halt to the bombing, Johnson learned the South Vietnamese were pulling out….”

Party politics at it’s finest, my friends!